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Friday, October 28, 2011
Indy Super Bowl Village revealed

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- The latest artist's rendering of the Super Bowl Village in Indianapolis shows fans in short sleeves soaking up the festive atmosphere.

What's missing? Snow, ice and cold temperatures.

Local organizers hope they'll have good weather for the city's first Super Bowl coming up on Feb. 5, but have spent months making contingency plans and believe they're ready for anything.

"I'm not worried about being able to deal with inclement weather over the three blocks (of the Super Bowl Village)," said host committee chairman Mark Miles. "We're not worried about snow. It's really a bigger issue. We've talked previously about our weather response team, and they are very geared up to deal with all of the possible weather conditions."

As the countdown to the big game hit 100 days Friday, Miles and host committee president Allison Melangton provided updates about everything from entertainment to weather plans.

With the city averaging 27 inches of snow each year and temperatures in January and February typically dropping into the 20s, weather has become a major concern, following problems in the Dallas-Fort Worth area last year. Snow, ice and unseasonable cold hampered travel around North Texas.

The Indy village is within walking distance of Lucas Oil Stadium, and committee officials plan to keep fans warm by installing radiant heaters around the village. Organizers think it will feel more like tailgating at Green Bay games or partying at the Winter Olympics than being out in the cold.

"We think people absolutely will embrace the weather," Miles said.

When the village opens Jan. 27, there will be two entertainment stages -- one that Miles described as big enough for any band in the world. Smaller acts will perform on the second stage, and more than 80 bands are scheduled to play in the 10-day run up to the game. Though organizers have not said who has been booked, Miles promised some big names.

"There will be some national acts," he said. "Some that even I have heard of."

Miles would not confirm reports that Madonna has been booked as the Super Bowl halftime act. Melangton said she expected the NFL to make that announcement within 30 days.

For fans seeking untraditional entertainment, the village will have four zip lines strung 80 feet above a downtown street and running 650 feet in length. The concept was first used at the Vancouver Olympics and was so popular, fans waited for hours to ride the zip lines.

Organizers are hoping for a repeat performance in Indy.

The NFL estimates roughly 200,000 fans will visit the NFL Experience interactive entertainment venue, which will be adjacent to the village at the city's convention center.

Fans also can enjoy Tailgate Town, which features football turf for hosting a variety of fan competitions. And, of course, they will have three IndyCars on display -- one decked out in the colors of the AFC champs, another in the colors of the NFC champs and the third featuring the Super Bowl colors.

"We feel very, very good about where we are today, 100 days away," Miles said. "I am every day amazed at how the community responds. People pull together to respond to every challenge we've confronted so far."